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Slip and Fall FAQs

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Posted on February 21, 2023

Did you or someone you know suffer from a slip and fall incident at work, out shopping, or even at a friend’s house? Check out some of the most common questions (and the answers) for slip and fall cases in New Jersey.

What is a slip and fall accident?

A: A slip and fall accident occurs when someone slips, trips, or falls on someone else’s property and sustains injuries as a result. Accidents can result in a range of injuries from minor bruises and cuts to broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

What should I do if I have been involved in a slip and fall accident in NJ?

  1. Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Note the date and time of the incident, and list your injuries caused by the accident. Then, document the scene by taking photos or videos of the accident location and any hazards that may have caused the fall. Once you have this documentation, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident?

A: The property owner or manager may be responsible for a slip and fall accident if they failed to maintain safe conditions on their property or failed to warn of a hazardous condition, such as an ice block, slippery surfaces, holes in their blacktop driveway, or other condition.

How do I prove that a property owner was negligent in a slip and fall case?

A: You can prove negligence by showing that the property owner or manager knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it or warn of its existence.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit in NJ?

A: In New Jersey, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit for a slip and fall accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within this statute of limitations period, you may lose your right to pursue a claim for damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, there may be exceptions or nuances, as stipulated by NJ law. Seek a local personal injury lawyer to explain the facts of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options **

What damages can I recover in a slip and fall lawsuit?

A: If you can prove that the property owner or manager was negligent, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident.

What if I was partially at fault for my slip and fall accident?

A: New Jersey follows a modified comparative fault rule, which is used to determine the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover in a personal injury suit if the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for their injuries. A plaintiff can only recover damages if their percentage of fault is less than 50%. The percentage of fault is determined by a jury based on the evidence presented at trial.

What if I slipped and fell on a public sidewalk?

A: In most cases, a municipality or government agency may be responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, and you may be eligible to file a claim against them for your injuries.

Do I need a lawyer for my slip and fall case?

A: Some specific scenarios in which you may want to consider hiring a lawyer is if you believe the property owner was negligent in maintaining safe conditions and you either (a) sustained serious injuries as a result, (b) encounter a liability dispute with the property owner, (c) your insurance company denies your claim or offers a settlement that is insufficient to cover your damages, and (d) experience complex legal issues, such as determining the extent of the property owner’s duty to maintain safe conditions.

How much does it cost to hire a slip and fall lawyer in NJ?

A:  Most firms operate based off a contingency fee, meaning they get paid a small percentage of the settlement if we win the case. Such is the case with Grungo Law; however, some personal injury lawyers may charge an hourly rate.

What if my slip and fall occurred on private property?

A: The property owner may be liable for your injuries if they were negligent in maintaining safe conditions, but pursuing a claim in this situation may be more complicated than if the accident occurred on public property. Protect your legal rights if you have been injured on private property by notifying the property owner, ask for their insurance information, and get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.

What is burden of proof in a slip and fall lawsuit?

A: The burden of proof is the legal obligation of the plaintiff or the party bringing a case to provide sufficient evidence to persuade the court or jury that their claims are true. In a slip and fall accident, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, who must prove that:

  1. The defendant owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property where the accident occurred.
  2. There was a dangerous condition on the property that caused the accident.
  3. The defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to remedy it.
  4. The plaintiff suffered injuries as a direct result of the dangerous condition on the property.

The plaintiff must prove these elements by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the evidence presented is more likely to be true than not true.

Can I still recover damages if I sign a waiver or release of liability in a NJ slip and fall case?

A: This is a legal document that may limit a person’s ability to recover damages in the event of a slip and fall accident; however, signing a waiver or release of liability does not necessarily mean that you cannot recover damages. Some waivers may be unenforceable if they are unclear, ambiguous, or violate public policy. If you signed one before your accident, speak to an attorney to review the language on the document to determine its enforceability. Additionally, you still may be able to recover damages if the property owner or other responsible party acted negligently.

How long will it take for my case to be resolved?

A: Cases can take several months or even years, depending on the severity of the injuries, the complexity of the case, and the willingness of the parties to reach a settlement. The legal process typically involves an investigation, negotiation, litigation, (mediation and resolution?). If the case goes to trial, it can take longer to reach a solution, depending on the court’s schedule, amongst other variables. Consult with an attorney with the specifics of your case.